John Bowler

John Bowler

Former Minister for Local Government; Employment Protection; Racing and Gaming; Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern

    First scientific report on Burrup air quality.

    16/10/2006 12:30 PM

    The State Government has welcomed the first scientific report on Burrup Peninsula air quality.

    The independent report, conducted by the CSIRO, indicates that Burrup Peninsula air pollution concentrations were generally very low in industrial areas and similar to those found throughout the Pilbara.

    The final Burrup Peninsula Air Pollution Study report of the first year of air quality monitoring was today presented to Resources Minister John Bowler by the Burrup Rock Art Monitoring Committee chair, Associate Professor Frank Murray and Dr Erick Ramanaidou, one of the CSIRO report’s authors.

    Mr Bowler said the data collected for the report was designed to compare air pollution levels in industrial areas with other areas on the Burrup and in remote but related
    base-line locations.

    “Although these results are only the first in a series, air quality in the Burrup industrial areas seems to be better than suburban areas, such as those in Perth, where there is no heavy industry,” he said.

    “The data suggested that the emissions in the industrial areas were not expected to affect the rock art on the Burrup Peninsula.

    “This report is part of a multi-faceted scientific investigation to establish whether industrial emissions have had any effect on Aboriginal rock art located on and around the Burrup.

    “As well as air quality monitoring, CSIRO is studying artificial fumigation of rock surfaces as well as colour changes, while Murdoch University is investigating the microbial aspects of the petroglyphs.

    "Some of Australia's best scientists, using state-of-the-art data collection methods and techniques, produced this report. In addition four international referees, world-leaders in their fields, have backed the soundness of the scientific study and the results.”

    As an extension of the initial State Government-funded program, local industries will contribute more than $400,000 to the project, which will continue to monitor air quality over the next three years. An extended Air Pollution Study contract will be finalised with the CSIRO shortly.

    "The Burrup is home to one of the world's largest collections of indigenous rock art and some of Australia's largest industries, including the North West Shelf Gas Project, Pilbara Iron, Dampier Salt, Burrup Fertilisers and the busy Port of Dampier, also share the Burrup,” the Minister said.

    “The WA Government is committed to ongoing protection and preservation of the Burrup Rock Art and we look forward to continuing the monitoring program over the coming years to understand the relationship between air quality and rock art on the Burrup.”

    Minister's Office - 9222 9699